My wife, Rebbecca, and I had difficulty conceiving our son. We had to go through multiple doctors, multiple medications, and years of heartache before Elijah came into the world. We were grateful to learn that we were not alone in this, as we quickly found out many people we knew also had difficulties in this area of life. If this is your story too, I encourage you to reach out to someone close to you. You never know if they may have been through it too until you ask. We are also available to talk about the struggles we faced during these years.
In 1 Samuel, Hannah was also struggling with this issue. She simply could not conceive a child. This was long before there was medication available to address possible medical complications, so she was completely at God’s mercy to give her a child. Not only was she unable to conceive, she also had another woman in the picture to deal with, causing a lot of jealousy, anger, and issues for her in her marriage. I remember from our time struggling with this that almost everyone else around us was getting pregnant at the same time, and the pain that Rebbecca felt during this was very intense. I was trying to be the optimist, like Hannah’s husband, when he said, “Why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” (v. 8) Men who are reading this, a word of advice is needed here: just stay quiet and be there for your wife. I learned the hard way multiple times.
Hannah prayed from the heart through many tears for a child, and God finally blessed her with a son named Samuel. Although the priest couldn’t hear the words she was saying, God did, and He answered. She also followed through on her promise to God, to allow her son to live his life in service to God in the Temple. I can’t imagine what this mother must have been feeling, to hand over her only son in thanks to God! What an example of faith she is.
Questions to Consider
- God hears all prayer, both verbal and non-verbal, as long as it is from the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Whatever you have been praying for, is it something that you deeply desire and would do anything for?
- Hannah’s story is not a guarantee that you will receive what you want from God; sometimes the answer is no. Despite this possibility, will you choose to remain faithful to God even if He doesn’t give you what you want? Sometimes He has something better in store.
- You are valuable, not because of your ability to have children or contribute to God in a specific way, but because you are created in His image (Genesis 1:27). You don’t need anything else to be significant and valuable in God’s eyes. Do you see yourself the way God does?